The French Harpsichord, 17th century
|This instrument is based on a French harpsichord made by Anton Lefebvre who worked in Paris c.1680.Original French harpsichords of the 17th century are rare, However those that have survived evidently belong to an early indigenous school of harpsichord building. They were markedly different in many aspects of their design and construction to those that became established in a national style at the beginning of the 18th century. The early French harpsichords show constructional details similar to those of both the Italian and Flemish schools of instrument building. These instruments are noted for their very light and responsive keyboards with naturals covered usually with ebony and the sharps of either bone or ivory.|
|For this instrument a trefoil motif is carved directly into the ends of the key levers. At each end of the keyboard the blocks have a scrolled top surface reminiscent of Italian work and the removable nameboard drops from the level of the sides in a decorative scroll to just above the wrest plank.|
|The soundboards of these early instruments were almost always decorated with flowers and butterflies etc. and the soundhole fitted with a pierced parchment rose.|
Compass: GG/AA - c'''
Disposition: 2 x 8,
Strung throughout in brass.
Pitch: a'= 415Hz.
|Dimensions: 1915mm x 800mm x 190mm (850mm high
The instrument comes complete with separate folding music desk and tuning lever.